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Opening Remarks by George Arnold at the FERC Technical Conference on Smart Grid Interoperability Standards (Jan 31, 2011)
George W. Arnold

This document captured opening remarks by George W. Arnold, National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability, NIST, at the FERC Technical Conference on Smart Grid Interoperability Standards on January 31, 2011. It provides context for the discussion at the conference, which are: 1) The overall process used by NIST in coordinating the development of the framework, and how the process is evolving; 2) How the five IEC standards fit within that process, and 3) Discuss the terms “consensus” and “adoption” and their relation to EISA.

Congress, the Administration, and industry executives have repeatedly stressed the urgent need to establish protocols and standards for the smart grid. Achieving EISA’s vision of a smart grid in which the electric grid, smart appliances, electric vehicles, distributed renewables and other elements can interwork cannot be accomplished without moving away from the legacy proprietary, customized systems that characterize today’s system to a framework based on open, interoperable standards. Without standards, there is the potential for technologies now being implemented with sizable public and private investments to become prematurely obsolete or be implemented without adequate security. The urgency became even more pronounced with the announcement of plans to use American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to invest in smart grid deployments.

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